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Tesla’s PR Nightmare: the “Bricked” Roadsters

February 23rd, 2012

Tesla battery reminder

There are 2,200 Tesla Roadsters out there, and you can only wonder what their owners are thinking today.

Reports are circulating of five cars that have “bricked”—that is, their batteries have fully discharged and become inoperable. You can’t recharge them from that state, and the wheels lock up. Your car is a brick. Yes, you were a dummy to let it get to that point, but still….

Tesla will replace the dead batteries at a cost to owners of about $40,000, and the company has offered a very tepid response to the situation, which you can read here.

There is no provision in the warranty to cover the damage, though Tesla has buyers sign a disclosure statement warning them about zero warranty coverage for permitting a zero state of charge. It’s kind of a fine-print thing.

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